You gotta kinda love that quote. ;)Let’s talk about gossip.It’s the ultimate double edged sword: How delicious it feels to wield it, but how it stings when that blade is turned on us.If we’re being honest, we’ve all been on both sides of that sword.Today, someone made a comment about me that I’m certain other non-hormonal, postpartum-crazy people out there would not have construed as mean, but, well, I did.And it sucked.The years have given me a thick skin against general crappiness from others, so I’m far from what you would call thin-skinned. There was even that time in high school when I was “mean girled.” There was gossip, there were lies, there was a confrontation.And you know what? I bet if you asked any or all of them about this today, they probably wouldn’t even remember.These events from my high school years… The comment from today… They’re proof that our words carry so much power. And yet we can be so careless with them.Somewhere along the way, while we were all Face-bragging, Insta-storying, anonymously commenting, and texting rather than actual face-to-face talking, we forgot that. We forgot that words matter because their value is so diluted in our digital world. We throw them around like pennies into fountains–carelessly and rarely with a second thought.Well, I think it’s time we change that. I think we are all way overdue for a little accountability for our words–spoken or typed.And never before has this need been so clear to me than when I became a mom. Thinking about how my kids may one day be hurt or stung by someone’s words in the same way I was makes my heart ache.While I will continue to fail at many things in life, I will try very hard to succeed in this one lesson with my kids. I will tell them that what they say matters, how they make people feel matters, and I ask that they choose to build people up with those words rather than tear them down.That they use those words to make others laugh, or to comfort them; and if for some reason they have something bad to say? That they don’t sit down next to anyone else and dish it out, but that they keep it to themselves and walk away calmly.While we can’t drastically change the course of many things in our world these days, this is one small thing we can do–make our words count, and then pass along that lesson.I hope you will take on this challenge with me.Let’s dole our words out with care, use them wisely.And maybe we even give those people–those critics, those crap-talkers, the ones who dole it out–the benefit of the doubt. Maybe we try to understand them, rather than react to them. And after we grant them grace, may we suck up every last ounce of strength from our own souls and do the bigger thing–not retaliate.It’s gonna be hard. But I think we can do it.And if we don’t have anything good to say? Maybe this time, we’ll just keep it to ourselves.Any lessons you want to teach your children? How do you make sure they “use their words wisely?” What life lesson do you want them to know most?
Sonni Abatta runs an Orlando lifestyle and mom blog and is, at this very moment, choosing her words carefully. All (kindly-worded) suggestions and questions can be sent to Sonni@SonniAbatta.com.